chapter  9
16 Pages

Welfare, Society and Secularization

WithAnders Bäckström

This chapter identifies the most prominent research questions following the increase in research on religion as a problem, or even as a threat to the secular welfare state. The Uppsala-based projects on welfare and religion in a European perspective focused both on the role of religion in the formative years of the welfare state and on the transition towards a new type of society marked by a market-based logic. The Catholic Caritas and the Protestant Diakonie Deutschland have a dominant position in the welfare market. The role of the market in social welfare is also comparatively prominent, a fact that was criticized by the Church of England when Margaret Thatcher was in power. Esping-Andersen has been criticized for having overlooked the southern European welfare regime and the key role of the family, as well as for ignoring the gender factor and the voluntary sector.